We decided to attend this free-for-all event last Friday night due to the draw of country music band Lone Star, the airplanes and of course, the fireworks. It was pretty cool and very busy, apparently with 100,000 people in attendence. We had a plan of attack. Gates open at 4:30pm, and we decided to eat dinner and arrive a little later. We got there at about 6. Everyone seemed to have the same idea and it got packed closer to 7, so we arrived just before a huge rush at the gates.
We found seats and waited for the fun stuff to begin.
The flag on stage if the flag that was pulled from the 9/11 reckage.
The fireworks were pretty cool, they even had music to go along with it. Tattoo took place in a huge field by the Air Force Museum and the fireworks were nice and low. The fireworks we're used to are usually shot really high to get above the tree line.
After the show, there is no need to rush to your car, unless you sat in your car during the fireworks and drive out at soon as it's over, you are not making a speedy exit. I can't speak for the civilan parking. We parked on the side for people with military IDs and it was a madhouse getting out. While everyone sat in their cars in the grassy aisles, we just sat in our car with the windows rolled down and waited for it to clear out. It was 11 when we got in our car and we left the parking lot at 11:50. Patience is key. There were people yelling at other drivers and at the traffic directors, making themselves look stupid and we just laughed.
We had a good time and will definitely making Tattoo a yearly event for us if we're around at the time.